Diary of a Mad Jewish; Eggless Woman Venting & Doing Lots of Soul-Searching February- March 2023

These are from posts from my Facebook page for 2023 with a bit of tweaking.


Post February 17, 2023:

Have not posted much lately. Last yr, had surgery and then chemo for 6 months. Diagnosed with 4th stage endometrial cancer. Chemo was effective though cancer can pop up anywhere at anytime. Surgeon keeps mentioning radiation therapy for vagina but if there are no problems, I just would rather wait.

Not my first cancer. Had thyroid removed in 2014 but had radioactive therapy after.

Have been cleaning up my own apartment feeling less depressed.

Taking care of my mother’s issues and doing all her financial business is very difficult and stressful.

I just wish after 6 months my hair would grow more than an inch or so.

Post February 20, 2023:

Negativity has impacted my life and the rest of the world. It is not helping my outlook. Wish people would stop blaming everyone else for not only their own problems but ones that we have no control over. We have to adapt and change to improve our lives. Start with yourself. Tired of the talking heads, media and government officials not looking for workable solutions that one can actually achieve in the short term. Waiting for gun control, or someone to protect you from violence is not working.

My mother always told me to take money for the mugger when I ventured to unsafe places like downtown Yonkers when I lived there decades ago or NYC when crime was really rampant during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I still try to carry fewer things especially valuables. Being aware of those around you is most important. When someone is right behind me, nipping at my heels, I move over and let them pass. I even do this driving when I can. I hate having a parade behind me.

I started purging my Twitter account of those I follow that just bring me negativity. It is easy to blame the government, but I always look for ways of improving my life and the area I live in. My block is more important, than a block in Memphis. These are lessons I learned while teaching and I have to remember to apply them to myself.

Over the last year, I let things go in my apartment. I had so little energy to change things and the clutter just mounted. Having cancer and going through chemo drained me a lot. I am just starting to feel better. I’ve been burdened with helping my mother and let my own life go.

I still don’t feel like travelling or even going into a grocery store. I haven’t been to the Met for 3 yrs though I am a member. I let my TDF membership lapse since I haven’t seen a play in years. I could have gone to plays in my own City but sitting in a theater gives me willies.

I just want to feel better and dispel all that negative energy. Letting go of the things I cannot change will help.

Post February 27 2023:

Being sick (believe I have a cold) while getting manic is making it hard to get much sleep. I am getting a lot done finally cleaning up things and throwing out a lot of papers of which most are my mother’s. She kept a lot of papers and records going back decades.

I left my mother’s taxes at H& R Block but I haven’t heard back yet. I did call but got no call back. My mother might have been paying taxes since 2013 on a death benefit she got when my Dad died all when the H & R guy I go to found that this income was not counted. This is the difference of owing either over $3000 or just $90 for 2022. He had to research this. I did some of my own and I just can’t concentrate on figuring it out myself. It is possible her accountant all these years that I decided not to go to this year had been doing things wrong. I can only redo 3 yrs going back and Mom paid no taxes last yr with her medical expenses being so high.

I found more papers to help with this in my mother’s stuff but it is complicated. I downloaded Form 721 and there is a worksheet for this.

I also have to redo my own since one of my investments 1099 sent me an updated changed form. I had the same thing happen last year. I guess I will have to wait next time till March to do my taxes. I lost so much money last year with my investments but still had capital gains. Luckily, I am getting a refund unlike last year where I had to pay more with penalties. I even had to pay state income tax last yr and that was first time since 2010. Love the NY State pension that is not taxed by NY. I had considered moving to CT when I retired but my pension would have been taxed in CT. CT is not a cheap state to live in and I believe more so than NY in areas bordering CT. I found a great place in Sheldon CT but there were no doctors on my plan there. I would have to go to Bridgeport. I did my student teaching in Sheldon CT. It sure had changed since the 70’s but it is a nice place. They still have cows and farms. When I was at Sheldon High School, the school had just opened and there was an announcement for the students to stop messing with the cows that were in pasture by the school. It was hard for me to believe that Sheldon had dairy farms but they did.

Doing my mother’s taxes is less complicated but adding up all the medical bills is a nightmare. I had papers all over the place and that made things more difficult. I was smart to pay the bills either with checking account (mostly online) or with a credit card. I had to give all my mother’s accounts the POA and that was a job in itself. I actually spend more time on my mother’s bills than my own and this is after I got rid of her house and car. I still have to deal with Yonkers since Mom gets her Medicare premiums back from her former employer. I recently signed a form to have it come with direct deposit. This will save me time going to her bank to make deposits. I also get more mail for my mother than I get. Somehow even the people I did not send a change of address have found her new mailing address that is mine and I get so much junk mail. Mom, gets mail at her apartment as well. She gets ads for local grocery stores even. When she was away, this box accumulated quite a bit of mail that I had to go through. Mom can’t read much anymore. She did request a large clock that I spoke to her about and it came but not going over to see her till I am sure my cold is gone.

Mom has been losing it. She even had to call the lobby to get the name of the place she is living in. Someone from her days of going to Senior Centers in Yonkers called and Mom couldn’t remember where she was to tell the caller who she forgot her name though she wrote it down. Can’t read her notes. I wonder if I should get her diagnosed with legal blindness but tax guy didn’t think it would change much for her on her taxes. Mom’s macro degeneration is no longer stoppable with injections. She had been getting those for years and I drove her to those appointments for years and it was a long trip for me and even her through the streets from one side of Yonkers to the other. Mom, though had to go out to a restaurant she liked in area. It was a nice place but I would have rather just going back home. Gianna’s was the place. We even took out take out during shut down eating a wedge in the parking lot. It was really good.

I am sorry I am rambling, but Mom told me to write things down. I might copy and put on my website. It does help to get things out. These last 3 yrs have been difficult with Covid and all. We are expecting snow tonight, but it will just get washed away with the rain that follows. It is so cold that Mayor sent out a message about it on Facebook. Don’t ever recall getting a message about that before. We did have cold weather in Dec.

MARCH 2023

Post March 4, 2023:

Feeling better today. Did take a Covid test on Thurs. Made a trip to my mother’s and got there when she was at lunch.

Bought her a large digital clock but she can’t read it. I put in some more organizers and took home things.

There was no light in closet. She is paying about $8000 a month, and no one can fix her light?

The balloons I got her for Feb 14 are starting to lose air. I don’t understand how she could have used two bars of soap from then when she had 5 bars and can’t see them anywhere being used. Mom has liquid soap as well. Found her shampoo under sink when it should be in shower area. Next time I open soap wrappers so no one can use them somewhere else. I did this with toothpaste.

Room was pretty neat for my mother but there was a ton of napkins. She is like a squirrel gathering things from building.

She is losing it mentally and her friend called me because she can’t get Mom on the phone. Her friend who is older fell in home and hurt elbow so was in nursing home for months. Now she is at Assistive Living for a trial stay. I told her I had tried getting her from my mom’s apartment but we had no luck with the 2 numbers we have.

Still haven’t heard from H & R Block on Mom’s taxes. I tried calling buy guy did not call me back. Now I have to redo mine getting an update from my investments. What a pain doing taxes. I am expecting a refund but might get it before I file a change to my taxes. Last year the same thing happened and got $25 back after paying much more with penalties. Getting SS throws off everything and between gains in 2020 to big loses in 2021 I can’t figure things out.

I am at least cleaning up my apartment that went downhill last year. Donate things at Greendrop (books, hospital gowns my mother no long uses, sanitary napkins I no longer need and went to Recycle yard in city to get rid of an old cell phone, fabric and metal items.

I dread going to Oncologist this week. I hope she doesn’t recommend anything and just takes blood. My last blood tests cost over $2000 with Endocrinologist though I will not be charged. My two long time doctors change management and now hospital is involved. They charge too much for blood work.

Post March 5 2023:

Tomorrow is Purim. I was looking for those Hamantaschen cookies; the soft kind that I’ve gotten in a bakery, but White Plains Bakery was closing in 30 min.

Then saw a listing for Patisserie Bakery, and it said it was in the Daido Market (an Asian/Japanese grocery) on Mamaroneck Av. I decided to check it out though I doubted I would get the cookie I sought.

It wasn’t so easy to spot the very small bakery inside the store, but it was there. When I pointed out to the woman who was running the bakery that Patisserie means French bakery, she insisting it was a Japanese Bakery. There is a combo here as there were some macarons. In Japan there are French bakeries but, in this case, there was more of the Japanese influence.

I watched too many Japanese TV shows in my life and read too many Manga stories. My ending I came up with for the very popular and famous Manga called “Nana” gets a lot of hits from people all around the world. The author of Nana got sick and never finished the series. I gave my take on how the story ends.

I did pick up some huge shrimps that I will cook up with the salmon I have.

Enjoy the holiday. It has great relevance to what is going on in our country and in Israeli. Those protests are something in Israel with a fight for democracy.

Post March 11, 2023:

On manic Friday, I visited Mom. Finished reorganizing everything and brought her some new clothes. She was a bit overwhelmed by it all. Her clothes seem to be disappearing and much of it doesn’t fit her anymore. I have to guess on the size and have to put labels in everything. Some of the older labels have washed away so I sew in labels I had printed up.

I sorted socks and found over 13 single socks without a matching pair. Two were damaged so I tossed in garbage. When I had to get clothes for her stay in Rehab, I was so frustrated by those socks all thrown in with her bras. It was a nightmare; I don’t want to repeat.

I still can’t find a lot of things I bought her before but everything in closest on one big shelf is all thrown together. Most of the hangers that had pants and tops hanging are empty. I got her some shoe hanging shelves to hang from where hangers go and at least she can find the new shoes I got her. She was wearing them.

I called for her to get a haircut and she got one yesterday after I left. I finally got a list of her meds. Though I have a right to all things Harriet, I am often not informed. Still get notices about doctors who saw Mom that I didn’t know about or were told there would be no extra charge. Mom just can’t remember everything or gets things mixed up. She has also lost her long-term memory.

Took home the last clock that she had that was from her home in Yonkers. It had my dad’s name on it for some reason. I got Mom a large digital clock but she can’t see it well so I moved her chair she has in room closer to the TV.

I did not have the energy to have her try on her old jackets because I doubt, they will fit her, but I did get a warm cape to drape over her for wheelchair use.

I went to Oncologist on Thurs, and we spoke about radiation therapy, but I don’t have anything going on in my vagina. They are scheduling another CT. I am dehydrated after getting a call yesterday from nurse there so I have to go back next week for more blood work. I hate this constant monitoring and procedures. It wears me out.

I had to park at a garage not near Cancer Center but up a hill and my left leg was bothering me, so it took forever to walk. They have free valet parking, but I would rather park car myself. Parking lot was kind of full and very unlike it was the last time I parked.

One walk signal at Chester was out and the area from Longview to Chester is filthy with litter/leaves all over. Gilda’s club is the worst. They don’t clean their sidewalk area and full of cardboard and those masks. Their steps had old leaves and litter.

I was afraid I might get hit crossing legally cause the cars are very aggressive and turn on the red light without letting me cross first. There is a blinking light to cross by Cancer Center that cars ignore. I took elevators in Longview garage to get back up the hill without killing myself. It is very steep here.

I am a bit afraid of what the weather is out today. Irish parade is today so it will be cold and wet. I ordered a food delivery from Whole Foods.

Post March 14 2023:

Got out for a change. Winter was brewing up a wind with snow and what looked like small bits of ice (or hail). I needed to walk. Pharmacy did not have everything, so I went to Target and made stops at bank and H & R Block who has yet to finish Mom’s taxes.

Best of all there was little traffic and I crossed streets when I didn’t have the right of way.

Post March 18, 2023

My sister Irene turns 71 on Monday and will bring a bit of Spring with her when she visits with my mother tomorrow A few of us will be eating together at the Bristal with my Mom to celebrate her lucky day. They have a dining room where we get to eat the Bristal’s dining choices. No menu ahead of time.

Post March 21, 2023

Rewards and/or Discounts.

Do you have reward programs & discounts?

With prices of goods and services going up you might want to take advantage of some of the rewards and/or discounts that are offered here in WP or anywhere else. Like Martha Stewart once said, “It is a good thing.”

Places to get discounts/rewards:

Shoprite at City Center: Weekly coupons, Price card discounts; free main entree for major holidays when you use price card; 1 hr for parking.

Stop & Shop: Weekly coupons; price card discounts.

Whole Foods: Discounts at store with Amazon Prime membership; free parking

Microsoft: Offers rewards for using search engine and coupons for items ordered online.

White Plains Parking; Get a discount with keys for meters for $75 when using certain garages at certain times. See city website for this.

White Plains BID; Discount card available to be used at various retail venues in city.

Feel free to add to the list in your comments. Some offers might have been discontinued while others might have happened since posting.

Post March 22, 2023

Will never surrender to a false god,

Even if it means being alone.

Never was a follower,

Made my own path in my journey of life.

It can be lonely sometimes.

But I would rather be dead,

Then give my soul to a false god.

Never will be a sheep,

Blindly following the herd.

I will then forge forward with my eyes wide open,

Even as I lose my sight.

Want to make up my own mind,

Live my own true self,

To be truly free.

Standing on top of the mountain,

Or on top of a building.

Looking down at what is the glorious Earth.

Letting in the sunshine,

Exposing every bit of me,

Letting out my fears.

Time to break out of my isolated pandemic life.

And get back to the things I once enjoyed.

Scared, yes.

But it is time.

How about you?

Post March 23, 2023

Held back a lot this past year and finally decided to let everything go. You can unfollow me if you are tired of reading my rantings.

I now have to have another scan. This time a PT scan. First told it would be a CT scan but then Onocologist Office and Hospital kept calling driving me crazy about both being approved. One woman even suggested having both scans in one day. Problem though is CT with contrast conflicts with my kidney that is elevated. Have to see a specialist about my kidney issues. Finally found an opening that wasn’t in June. Never been to kidney specialist. I’ve had my blood tested more times than I can count that I am beginning to think these people taking my blood work for vampires.

My poor Mom now has conjunctivitis and an infection on her lower legs. I was visiting when doctor came in her room. My mother had no idea what was happening. I think the women who come to my mother’s door and ask her if she needs help going to bathroom don’t realize my mother can’t hear them. One kept coming to her door while I was on phone and I could not understand her either. Don’t they realize my mother is practically deaf?

I am the last to find out things. Just got another bill from an ambulance company from Feb. I should be told what is going on with POA and Health proxy. Oy vey.

There’s an expression I say, “When it rains, it pours.”

If you have gotten this far in reading my dissertation just have a wonderful day.

Post March 24, 2023

How has your life changed since Covid?

I stay home more & get more deliveries.

Yesterday, I got my 1st same day home delivery from Target. I’m not talking about ordering things online that I have done many times but actually ordering a doorstep delivery where in just a few hours I get a delivery.

I live maybe 4 blocks from Target at City Center in WP and as I used to say its just 4 NYC blocks (20 blocks = 1 mi) so it is just a little way from my building. I started out ordering a few things but ended up adding more to the order. And, it came in just 2 hours. And it all went great. I will have to try that again. They have food as well as dry goods.

Post March 25, 2023:

I know I am getting old when I now have to hire someone to change my light bulbs.

Tried changing bulbs in ceiling fan in kitchen but bulb came out but not the metal end that is still in socket. Had to change 2 and just a complete failure. Getting on a ladder is scary these days.

My building requires all sorts of permissions to do repairs and remodels. I am just going to call someone cause the fan was already approved and it is just a light bulb that needs changing. Living in a Co-op can be very annoying with the rules and rule changes that are not even updated in a single listing.

Post March 25, 2023:

My grandparents are buried in Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY and it is on Long Island. My parents have 2 plots there but don’t know where.

Mom said, her father’s 2nd wife Jean was buried next to them but I told her I don’t see it. Asked for a pic since my mother has been paying for the care of plot and grass area. It is $129 for yr but I don’t see what she is paying for.

This was taken now but don’t know what she is paying for. My Dad is buried in Valhalla at Sharon Gardens. There are 2 plots there for Mom and I.

I tried to make the pic clearer but could not fix with a scan. I can’t read much off the one they sent me after I called.

Post March 27, 2023:

Mom, was more there today. At least she knew who it was.

For some reason I feel like a Passover Sedar, so I am going to do it with my mother.

I ordered a 30 min Haggadah, that I will have to read it to her. I am sure she will remember things. I also decided to prepare a Sedar Plate. I will be making a Brisket with veggies kosha style but not with kosha meat that I am getting from Whole Foods. Mom wanted not too sweet grape juice so I ordered a sparkling kind that we can water down.

I will have to bring everything and got a reservation in The Bristal’s Country Kitchen with a noon time (all others were taken) and because we can’t eat in her room, I will have to bring everything over in a cooler.

I started cooking again a couple of months ago and figure I can make a brisket using a method I found online. I am not going to use a Dutch Oven, but I can brown meat on stove and then put it in oven covered with the veggies (onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots) all, but mushrooms all cut up. I got tomato sauce, Worcestershire Sauce for the sauce. I ordered a red cooking wine so will add that as well with spices. Mom told me how to make the Charoset and I looked it up as well. I am just using apples, chopped walnuts with cinnamon and wine. Mom said just a little of cinnamon, but I have never made it before so whatever it tastes like it will do. I even ordered a lamb leg that we can add to brisket.

Not sure they will come in time but ordered marzipan fortune cookies that I found on Esty. They look they are made with matza.

I was going to order food from The Seasons in Scarsdale, but they have meals for 6 with a Seder plate. I could have got prepared meal from Epstein’s as well but I already get delivery from Whole Foods so will do this since I know I can depend on them. Whole Foods has prepared meals for Passover, but one has to pick them up. I will be making food in the days before April 5.

Have a PT Scan tomorrow and see that Kidney Specialist and trying to not eat foods that turn up trouble for kidneys. I remember something in my last scan with my kidneys but probably was a small kidney stone. Just found out that Montefiore has a 3D CT scan for colorectal cancer. I am overdue for one. Though I have had 5 previous ones. I could have colon cancer as grandfather had on mother’s side and they have been poking about my breast for years.

I once smashed my car before a mammogram. I did it in my garage and though the building had no damage I ruined one side of my car. Took over 2 months to get that fixed. They just replace the parts these days. My parts had to come from Japan. This was in 2017 so I can’t imagine having a crash these days. I had a Legacy but now have a Crosstrek Subaru. Love the car but Mom can’t get in it without a lot of prodding.

I also felt a bit like having a bit of fun to see if anyone notices. I got those plastic eggs filled with candy and plan to put in Tibbits Park on Easter morning and if someone finds the right number that I will post, I will give them a free book. I announced on my FB page for White Plains, New York: A City of Contrasts but so far no reactions.

Post March 27, 2023:

Shopped today at a bunch of stores but the last was Bloomingdale’s.

It was a surprise to see Sheila in the shoe department. I really went nuts buying things that I held back buying for years. Got some items for 20% off and then there are rewards. Bought something on all floors except the lowest one.

I think I saw someone else shopping for clothes who I once worked with at WPHS. She taught French and even became the head of the Dept.

Small world. It was a nice day for shopping.

Post March 27, 2023:

o Family. I have done a bit of research on the relatives on both sides. I have done what I could with the family tree on Ancestry.com. If you are interested in knowing more about the Schild (maternal side) and or the Harrison (paternal) line you can contact me and if you have something to add, please feel free to contact me.

My mother used to get calls from relatives looking for information on our ancestry. I am still looking for the reason for the Harrison surname and might have found something. Grandfather on paternal side and his father came together to US by way of England after leaving Russian (but today is Ukraine). Louie the younger brother came later. Names were often changed on the ships before landing.

I have done my DNA with two companies and had my mother’s done with the 2nd. First with My Heritage showed Nigerian and Sephardic Jewish from N Africa. Ancestry showed 100% Ashkenazi Jewish but now they are tracing back across Russia to China.

I ordered another kit to do genetic tracing for medical conditions.

I also keep a website and there is a post on Paul Harrison who was my father and info on my DNA/Ancestry.

Post March 29, 2023:

I am losing it. Got like 5 hours of sleep but from 8:30pm to 1:30am Thought today was Tuesday and had a scan yesterday. Too much stress.

Ordered a delivery of food last night for 10-12 and Verizon is now coming at 1?

Then I think I went crazy after getting a notice that Covid cases have popped up at the Bristal again. Mother and I will have to mask up again. Hate that more than anything.

The front desk kept calling me about the Country Kitchen reservation and wanted me to know that there are no plates, cups etc. I knew this and my mother has goods in her apartment for a picnic. I just wanted to know if they had a microwave and they do along with a refrigerator.

Also found out in conversation that The Bristal is having a Passover Seder for the 2nd night at 4pm. After they will go to dining room to eat. That my mother had no idea about but has to sign up. They make announcements but not sure where. My mother can’t hear the announcements and can’t see the written notices posted in elevator or ones at the front desk.

Did find out that exercise is at 10:30 and the escorts take her there over an hour early just not to get her out of her room where she wants to go after breakfast. She prefers using bathroom in her room and with a walker.

She is doing very little walking and uses wheelchair to go to meals/activities. It is a long walk even for me.

They are supposed to guide her to using the bathroom, but they shout in room from door asking her if she needs anything. My mother does not hear this and that is not a prompt to go to bathroom. She is paying for this service. I tell her to go on the phone so there will not be accidents like she has had twice when I happened to be there. Woman is still closing the blinds so it is dark in the room. Mother needs sunlight to see anything. There is a Wellness Dept that I have spoken to them about all this. I even got an email about these problems.

It is very frustrating to constantly tell The Bristal to do the right thing. She is paying thousands each month for this service. And, I don’t need to watch over everything. My mother is very nice, but they should not be dictating to her where and when she needs an escort.

Post March 29. 2023:

Remember, you cannot control anyone else’s behavior. But you can change your own behavior to affect the behavior of others.

For instance, if a person is shouting at you. one has a few choiceson responding. You can ignore them, but this takes a lot to curb anyone’s behavior. The person will just get louder and even resort to violence when you ignore them. And, it takes a lot of self-control to do this (behavior modification 101). Or you can talk back to them in a very low voice and I mean so low that they have to be quiet to hear you. It will drive them nuts and you have to stand your ground and just talk softly and say your peace. Telling someone they are loud and to stop yelling only gets more yelling. I used this at work and it takes a lot of practice to learn these simple techniques.

They also can be applied to everything else.

NYC is putting in new benches in some stations but putting a 90 min limit on their use. The homeless often stay the day and sleep on these benches. In London when I went their bus stops had no nice benches but there was a bar that one could lean on while waiting. No one slept on the bar, and I got to sit.

When I paid for benches in WP, the city would only allow the ones with a bar across the middle to prevent sleeping. We actually have a law about sleeping on benches and one cannot take up the two spaces for sitters.

But without enforcement that is not going to happen, people in NYC will just stay all day on the benches. In Grand Central this has become a problem in the food court where the limit is 20 min but the police there do not enforce the rules.

One has to think outside the box and come up with something that will force a person to adjust their behavior.

Post March 29, 2023:

Got my lamb shank and that brisket. Put it in freezer for next week.

I am after 68 years making my first Seder. Always went to Moms.

Got any suggestions on roasting the lamb and the egg?

Post March 30, 2023:

Got results of my scan, but I will have to wait for doctor to help me interpret the results. Meanwhile I have to see a Kidney Specialist tomorrow.

Stunned about DT being indicted. I just can’t believe it is happening and I pray that NYC will come through this safely. I guess a trip to the MET might not be a good idea right now.

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